The Last Dance Kickstarter

HOORAY! Folk Americana Family Band, The Hollands! are back in the studio, recording, The Last Dance, slated for release Sept 2018.

As a family and as a band, we have been following our calling to be conduits of creativity and kindness for nearly a decade and it is our greatest honor and privilege to share “The Last Dance,” our 4th full-length album.

The name is no coincidence, with the younger Hollands! beginning to launch out on their own, the name not only ties all of the lyrical themes together on the album but resonates with this season in our lives.

The Last Dance is our most diverse and comprehensive album thus far. The album comprises of twelve songs, written over the last five years featuring stories of true love, life and death, family, a sense of home or safety, and more love. The final track is the infamous Celtic song we play at the end of most of our performances, “The Blessing”, which was written by our mate, Sammy Horner.

Recorded over 7 days in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Australia with recording engineer, Chris Gillespie at his off-grid, solar powered, Blue Sky Recording Studios.

The musicality of The Last Dance holds to the essence of The Hollands! Folk Americana sound with beautifully woven harmonies and core instrumentation of Guitar, Cajon, Mandolin, Banjo, Piano, and Ukulele. However, in true Holland fashion, we’ve invited an all-star cast to join us on this album!

Let us introduce our kinfolk,

The Players:

Our dear friend and famed blues guitarist, Cameron Henderson added a few licks on the Gretsch hollow body, giving a few tracks that extra dose of effervescence
Our dear friend and famed blues guitarist, Cameron Henderson added a few licks on the Gretsch hollow body, giving a few tracks that extra dose of effervescence

 

Our recording engineer, Indie Singer/Songwriter, Chris Gillespie set the tone on the Bass and added a bit of sunshine on the Dobro
Our recording engineer, Indie Singer/Songwriter, Chris Gillespie set the tone on the Bass and added a bit of sunshine on the Dobro

 

Colleen Davick has showcased on three of The Hollands! albums and this time is no exception. Colleen adds her fine Penny Whistle expertise on The Blessing
Colleen Davick has showcased on three of The Hollands! albums and this time is no exception. Colleen adds her fine Penny Whistle expertise on The Blessing

 

Jeffrey Niemeier has toured with us on and off over the last three years. This is his 700th recording and we are very excited to have his fireball fiddling on The Last Dance. Photo by Adrianne Adelle
Jeffrey Niemeier has toured with us on and off over the last three years. This is his 700th recording and we are very excited to have his fireball fiddling on The Last Dance. Photo by Adrianne Adelle

 

Composer and long time friend, Jeff Kurtenacker laid down an epic Hammond Organ track on one of the songs.
Composer and long time friend, Jeff Kurtenacker laid down an epic Hammond Organ track on one of the songs.

 

One of our favorite drummers of all time, Jason Torrens (of Cisco Caesar) added his drumming magic to The River and John Brown
One of our favorite drummers of all time, Jason Torrens (of Cisco Caesar) added his drumming magic to The River and John Brown

Our visual artist:

Dalia Milan has had the fortune of being mentored by parents, John and Elli Milan, of Milan Art Institute. At 14, she has found her own unique voice among those in the world of fine art. We're excited to partner with this young prodigy on The Last Dance
Dalia Milan has had the fortune of being mentored by parents, John and Elli Milan, of Milan Art Institute. At 14, she has found her own unique voice among those in the world of fine art. We’re excited to partner with this young prodigy on The Last Dance

And YOU!

As you can see, we’ve assembled an amazing team of collaborators to make this project a success and our desire is to be able to compensate those artists for helping us fulfill our vision for The Last Dance.

This is where you are invited to join the fun! Your Pre-order and contributions not only help The Hollands! create a legacy through music but also supports a village of artists. You can do this by clicking HERE.

Our goal is to raise $6,700 USD. This will cover all of our basic recording/production/printing costs and allow us to care for those who have contributed.

Bringing something new and creative into the world is a deeply vulnerable thing to do, let alone to ask people to notice it, evaluate it, or pay for it. So, thank you for taking the time to consider partnering with us on the most important record of our career to date. We could not do this without you!

Love,

The Hollands!

 

Bus Conversion; Sneak Peak

The Hollands! BusToday marks our Three Year Anniversary!

In August 2011, we gave away all of our possession and bought a 1984 MCI-9 Motorcoach (bus). Over the course of two months we would begin the conversion process with the help of many friends, neighbors and family. We departed Green Bay, WI in our bus on Oct 13, 2011, with the exterior walls, couch, dinette and master bed in tact. The rest of the bus was a container. We set off for our first stop in Sister, OR where another handful of friends and family helped us build out the kitchen cabinets, framing bedrooms and installing the electrical system. We left Oregon and as we traveled we built out what we could, when we had the resources and time. Over the course of the next three years we installed the plumbing system and finished off the bathroom complete with a shower and hot water. We have traveled over 60,000 miles, through 36 states. We are peace pilgrims, folk revivalists, and merrymakers. And, this is our home today.

PS. Video was filmed on an I-Phone 4 and we realize the quality isn’t ideal but hopefully you get a good glimpse for now. Also, here is the first design floor plan drawn by our friend, Marc Brummel. We adapted it as we built, moving the shower, sink and toilet but the basic design is the same.

Bus Conversion Floor Plan

Hammer and Tack

The Judy Patio Set

Besides shredding on the guitar, my man can build and I have to say it really turns me on! I knew he was handy and had a logistical mind but watching him these past two years on the road, building our bus has been fantastic.  And then, to see him take it to the next level and build as a means to care for others as well as for the art of it, well it’s just straight up sexy.

We were recently in Arizona and he built this lovely patio table and chairs for my mom and dad. We enjoyed dining on this set over the Thanksgiving holiday. His gift of craftsmanship is quality and the design work is beautiful.

The Hollands! Christmas Tour

The Hollands! Christmas Tour. We kick off this weekend in Tucson, AZ.

The Hollands! Christmas Tour

 

For details on times and cost visit www.thehollands.org 

Looking forward to seeing all you kinfolk out on the open road!

 

New Album in the Works

The life changes we have made over this past year have been so mind altering and soul stretching. It’s been a process to digest it all but over the last few weeks we have put our minds and efforts into writing songs. We hope to record these new songs this December in Portland, OR with David Fuller. Looking to have it available Spring 2013.

Crux of the Album:

There is a great love and purpose for us that is worked out in the messes, storms, blue skies, daily work, and dreams of our common lives.  This album gives narrative shape to actual people and circumstances in their dealings with God, each other and the inner workings within themselves.

Themes: Community, Common Lives, Storms, Injustice, Faithfulness, Long-Suffering, Circle, History, Pastoral, Poetry, Kingdom, Voyage.

We’ve decided to redo Old Man’s Town from our latest album, ‘Ashes to Beauty’ and feature it on this upcoming album. It’s a song that has aged well and our hope is to really allow the energy that has been building in that song to have a second chance to impact.

We’ve also been working to incorporate the unified sound that has developed in us as a family, not just a duo. Over the last two years we’ve performed as a family 355 times. There is a solidity that has developed and we are looking to incorporate that into this album. So, although we will still have room for guest appearance’s, on this recording we will feature “The Hollands!” as a band and as a family, including musical parts and songs that have been written by our children, songs like “Lanie Done Did” written by Graciana Holland.

Here is an excerpt from that song:

“Just about 26 seconds ago/Lanie done something bad/That time that time that time/Was all it took to make him mad/And the waves came down/Like an earthquake ready to rumble/Rolling round, Lanie, done did stumble”

Green Machine

We’ve been in Door County, WI for the past four weeks, lending a helping hand at our host home, the Price House (aka, my brother and sister-in-law). Nate and Heather are hard working folks with four beautiful children and one on the way. They live modestly in an old home that they have been remodeling over many years. Managing a house full of children and running a two small business, Allied Forward Motion and Captain Commodes, can be exhausting and the dreams for finishing projects can get lost in time. So, when we arrived, with time on our hands, Craig really couldn’t help himself, his green thumb had a blank canvas and he went to town. Lifting boulders, digging holes, tearing down an old shed, removing tree trunks, pouring concrete and planting a flower garden. Yep, he was a raging green machine.

See the transformation below.

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Hospitality in Los Angeles

Rest fell upon us in the most incredulous of all places, Los Angeles. It’s not where I think to go to when I’m looking to relax. It’s crowded, fast and it takes forever to drive anywhere. However, our couple day stop at the Halula abode in Montrose, turned out to be one of the most pleasant and unassuming times we’ve had. We meet Jenica and Wes Halula at the Holland House Gallery night in 2007 and thought they were some cool cats. They run a production company called Happy Fun Time and they are the kind of friends we call “kinfolk.” We kept up here and there, on Myspace and then Facebook and who knew that we’d be camped in their front yard four years later. It was the most challenging drive way we’ve, or I should say, Craig has managed. But, with the help of Banjo and Wes, it was conquered and we set up shop.

Enjoying the warmth of the sun and the surrounding mountains, we were able to tackle some good school days, get some groceries and enjoy company with old friends, Michelle and Kevin. We also hosted our first dinner party with the Halula’s as our guests. It was such a pleasure to finally be able to share in hospitality using our space.

On a side note; we have been blown away by the constant provision from God, through those with compassionate hearts. Always in the neck of time too.

When we arrived in LA we realized that we were down to our last fifty dollars. It had cost us $1100 in Gas to drive these last twenty days. Needless to say, our hearts pattered a few beats as we realized that our gigs we’re still a week away and we had no income in sight. With in a day however, we had two spontaneous gifts given to us, that allowed us to refill the tank and get our groceries. We still can’t figure it out. Nobody knew, we hadn’t put out a prayer request or set up a fundraiser and we didn’t do some special service project or anything noble. It just happened or did it?

Now, there is the prosperity gospel and there is the poverty gospel, both of which we don’t aspire to. We just don’t believe in a “woe is me” manipulation so those around us feel sorry and give to us, and we surely don’t believe that we’re doing something so significant that we are warranted some great reward. We’re just living life. We are however, learning that this journey isn’t about us at all, that our needs being met isn’t even the point, but rather that we are apart of a bigger picture, we are one big “body,” like the “sea pens,” and our motion is connected to others motion. No, things don’t “just happen.” We really believe there is a beautiful tapestry being woven and we are all apart of it. So, as hard as it is, our focus remains on serving and trusting. And, although it has been humbling and hard to learn to receive, we have had such graciousness and mercy bestowed upon us that we can’t hardly wait to pass it on.

Emotional Inventory – Lessons Learned

Lessons learned.

On Feb. 12, 2012 we crossed from Oregon into the state of California. As we made our way down I-5, we realized that this was our first moment alone as a family in a long time and it was our first stop where we were not staying with friends or family. The Gateway RV Park welcomed us to Redding, CA and as we pulled into our site (late night arrival) we found the ground to be uneven. Grant’s pass was not kind and we were exhausted from the drive. I could tell Craig was limited in the energy he had and I didn’t want to nag much about the leaning of Celu’haven but I did voice my concern just before heading into town to pick up some groceries. I was gone for about an hour and during that time I had resigned myself to the fact that we were probably going to end up sleeping with a tilt.

The site was quite upon my return and as I crawled in bed I propped my pillow up so the blood wouldn’t flow to my head all night. I had a restless night sleep, tossing and turning as I felt myself slipping head down. The next morning when we woke Craig asked how my sleep was and I answered, “horrible, I felt like I was falling all night.” He lay silent and offered no empathy or mutual concern. As I made my way back from the community bathroom I noticed that the left wheels of the bus were up on blocks. I was in a quandary. I thought, “What?! When did he do this? Couldn’t have been when I was in the toilet as there wouldn’t have been enough time and I would have heard him.” And then it dawned on me,  “he did this last night, when I was at the store!” I rushed into the bus and had a look. Sure enough, it was level. I went back to my bedroom, it was level too. I slept all night totally convinced that I was on an uncomfortable angle!

I went to the main room and everyone had a big smile on their faces. I lowered my eyes and said, “So, it seems I’ve deceived myself.” We all had a good laugh. Funny thing is, this is quite common. We walk around believing that we are the victim, truly believing it and all along our perception is wrong.  If only I would have been open, maybe trusted that Craig was really going to look out for us, maybe investigated a little, I would have had quite the restful night. In the end, it was a good lesson to learn. The lesson that my emotions aren’t always the end of the story. The lesson that we are on this journey as a family and the biggest lesson in learning to trust that we can trust one another. Really trust.

Tried and True

From our release “Ashes To Beauty” You can purchase our Album at BANDCAMP

Video by Josh Kufahl.

Vocals- Jana Holland and Graciana Holland                                                                   Mandolin- Jana Holland                                                                                                         Guitar- Craig Holland                                                                                                                   Cello- Kimberly Souther

On Hospitality and Citizenship

I’ve had random thoughts racing through my mind all day. They’re all seemingly important but not necessarily connected. So, I chalk it up to cabin fever.

First thought: I have moved over 19 times in my life. I have lived on three continents and in 5 US states. I have been the visitor and the local.  Through all of these moves I have come to understand this; being hospitable is crucial. I’m not convinced that folks understand the impact they have on others and the life-giving ability they have to make someone feel at “home.” To bring someone into the fold, to treat one like kinsfolk. That is the calling for us all. Not just the few Martha Stewards out there (bless their hearts)…

Second thought: Craig is going to the consulate office tomorrow to take his big test to become an American Citizen.  Australia and the US have an agreement allowing him dual citizenship.

What does it all mean? Well, first and foremost, he’ll be able to vote. When I met Craig 12 years ago, he was in politically based punk band. Typical of most punk rockers,  he was pretty opinionated about the powers that be and the way the poor and downtrodden are oppressed. However, living as an alien (legally but still an outsider) pulls a bit of voice out of one and for the past 10 years or so he has been observant but relatively silent on most issues. As we near his citizenship I have noticed his voice getting louder and I wonder… if  becoming a citizen makes a difference in one’s credibility or feeling of credibility?

Third thought: The house is getting in order for our grand gallery night event coming up this weekend. It was started purely as a way to make friends and build community with like-minded creative folk. And to support the arts, which we love dearly.  In a sports town that over shadows the arts this event has been a diamond in the rough for us. We are looking forward to hosting our 4th and possibly final gallery night.  How it works: We invite about 15 local fine artists to show 3-5 pieces.  We live in an old Victorian house in Historic Astor Park. We take all of our decor down in the 4 lower main rooms and use them as the gallery walls. The kitchen is used for a delicious spread of desserts, wine and cheese. We also invite many of our musically inclined friends to perform throughout the night.

As we prepare to move on this fall, our hope is that folks in this area will continue to see the value in creating and connecting with each other. I hope that we inspired those we met to be more hospitable. To reach out to those who are “visitors” and bring them into the fold.

~jh